Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recruiter mails offer letter to official email ID!

From a reader:

I had interviewed a couple of weeks back and got through after multiple rounds of interview. Prior to the start of the interview process I had filled out a ‘pre-interview’ form that was given to me by the recruiter. In the contact details part of the form, I had mentioned my personal email id and phone number as primary contact points. I was also asked to give my current official email id as part of the form filling exercise. I had clearly indicated that I was not to be reached or sent any communication about the interview process to my official email id, since the email is shared within the team. I made it through the interviews and the recruiter had called to discuss the offer with me before emailing it to me. He then sent the offer letter to my official email id. I think my manager and colleagues have read the mail. This might affect my exit and references. How do I manage this?

My reaction on reading this was…Arrgghhh, another recruiter blunder! The first one was here, but this one’s plain stupid.

Well, there are at least five different sets of people that are going to get affected by this mail. You. Your current manager. Colleagues. Prospective manager. Recruiter.

We’ll take it one at a time.

First, are you ok with the offer? If yes, it makes things a lot easier. There really isn’t much you can do now but start the exit discussion with your manager. You cannot rule out the possibility that this will affect your exit process. You can however come out clean and tell the manager that you had provided the email id as part of the form filling activity. Further, that you had clearly indicated (I hope this wasn’t just verbal) that the official id was not to be used for any sort of interview communication. It’s good to be truthful, cause then you have nothing to hide. He might buy that, but don’t bank on him accepting it right away. He’ll be wary of setting a precedent. If he goes easy on you, the other team members won’t take to it lightly. He’ll have to deal with discontented team members who know about the offer. On the other hand, if you aren’t ok with the offer, then I suggest you either bargain for a better offer or start updating your resume. Hope it’s the former that works out better.

I’ll give the benefit of doubt to your colleagues and assume they didn’t read the mail which was addressed to you. But then, curiosity can do strange things. If for example, the mail had a subject line: From xxxxx: Offer Letter. That would turn even the most disinterested reader into a curious reader. Your colleagues are going to be upset with you. Period. Not because you are leaving them (that’s more emotional), but because they now know your offer and are comparing that with their current job. Your manager’s not going to be happy with this situation. One person’s mail has caused an imbalance within the whole team!

Next up is the recruiter. Well, where do I start? I’m just going to say that if I was the recruiter’s manager, I would be having a candid discussion right this minute. The recruiter’s blunder is going to affect their chances of getting you across the line. Hope you have mailed the recruiter, making your displeasure known. This might not help your case, but he should know he messed up. The damage has been done and the worst part is that he is no longer in control of the consequences.

As for the prospective manager, if you are ok with the offer, I suggest you write to him and explain the situation. You may want to tell him about the possibility of not getting references from your present manager. However, do mention that you’ll try and work out things from your end. There’s only so much your future manager can do. He wasn’t the one sending out the mail. Hopefully, he’ll understand and give you some flexibility.

Finally, the person in the middle of the storm is you. Since the email id is shared, there’s a possibility that a log’s maintained for all mail transactions. Bring it up with the manager and request him to either delete it or allow you to delete it from the id. Again, it’s only damage control. It will only stop others (who haven’t already read the mail) from accessing the mail.

Good luck!